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12-22-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
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Wide angle, leaning towards Tamron 10-24mm

I am planning my personal lens-buying roadmap and want to add a wide angle. My widest lens currently stops at 18mm. My main uses would be for architecture and museums (mostly aviation where my longer lenses can't capture an entire exhibit). Landscape will be a secondary use.

The Tamron 10-24 is in the lead. Pluses: more zoom range than other UW zooms; handles flare quite well; price is ~2/3 that of the competition. Minuses: Corner softness.

The Sigma 10-20 3.5 is tempting. Fixed aperture and reportedly better build quality. 4mm less range than the Tamron means I would need to change lenses more frequently. The Pentax 12-24 isn't out of the running either but doesn't go quite as wide. It's been out of stock for a while but there's one on the marketplace.

(Longer-term, I expect to add a Pentax DA 15 for its superb IQ and compactness. A good lens to always keep in my bag. Zoom is a higher priority solely for its versatility.)

Anyone think I'm making a mistake with the Tamron? Did I miss any other good ultrawide zooms (no fisheyes)?

12-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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I think you are on the right path. I have had the Sigma 10-20 and sold it for other ventures. Recently I have thought of trying to find a DA 12-24mm but really am put off at the price. I am not sure how much I will use the lens anyway as my 16-50 tends to go wide enough for me in general. If not I like to use the 10-17mm fisheye. For the cost and zoom range, the Tamron seems to be the best value of the 3. Granted it is about the same price as the older Sigma , the extra range of the 24mm long end is nice. I generally use the wide end on vacations and more often than not the 16-50 does the trick but I am thinking of doing more landscape stuff in the coming year and a wide zoom like the Tamron would be handy.
12-22-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Don't discard considering the Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 With the very good high ISO capability of the newer bodies (K-5/K-r/K-x), the 1-1.25 stop difference is probably not significant compared to the f/3.5 version.

I've not used the Tamron, but wanted to buy it about 6 months after it was released. Sadly, Tamron is not well represented in South Africa, so ended up with Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 instead. But not disappointed in any way. From all I have read, it is flip a coin stuff to choice between them.

The Pentax 12-24 seems to be a step up, but also in price, but at the expense of 10-12 range.
12-22-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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I went through the same process a year ago this time of year (bought mine 12/31 just before the rebate lowering cost to $364 ended). Interestingly, I also wanted to be able to capture large aircraft with a lens wider than 18mm. I've been very happy with the Tamron. It takes a bit of getting used to the 10-12mm range perspective on things but I've enjoyed using it every time I've put it on the camera (beit the K-x, K-r or now the K5). I happen to think that corner softness is over emphasized in UWA lenses myself. Also, for indoor static aircraft photos without a tripod the difference between 3.5 and 4.5 IS significant even with the K-r and K5.

12-22-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the comments here. I've been eyeing the Tamron 10-24 myself for the longest time. Looks like I'll be going for it.
12-22-2011, 03:08 PM   #6
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I had both the Sig 10-20/4 and Tam 10-24 in hand for a few months last year and kept the Tammy.

In practical outdoor use there was little significant difference and I liked the color rendition of the Tammy better -- warmer. The Tam 10-24 renders very much like the DA 16-45 compared to the Siggy in my opinion. If wide open corner-to-corner sharpness is important, the Sig might be preferable.

H2
12-22-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
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I just got the Tamron a couple weeks ago haven't got to give it a great workout yet. Here's a couple examples, the exif data is intact, the center shot is at 10mm:





12-22-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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I'd rate the Sigma8-16 first and the DA12-24 second.

12-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #9
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My story again: A year ago, I could choose between any of the UWAs: new SIgma 8-16, new or old Sigma 10-20, Tamron 10-24, DA12-24. The Pentax and new Sigmas prices would have been painful but bearable. The old Sigma was not much costlier than the rebated Tamron.

What did I choose to supplement the great DA10-17, the lens that drove me to Pentax? The Tamron. Why? 1) Focal range (see below). 2) Cost -- US$375 shipped. 3) Warranty. 4) Sigma's difficult QC problems. Sigma owners love their UWAs -- once they get good copies. I've read of too many users returning 2-3-4 copies before being satisfied. The Tamron return rate seems to be lower.

So I bought the Tamron and I'm quite happy. The optics are good; AF is fast; it meters well on my K20D. And the focal range is excellent, from WIDE! (for tight spaces) to just-wide (for 'scapes). It is almost always in my kit. It has largely supplanted my Zenitar 16/2.8 unless I know I need the Zen's extra speed. One could put together a good two-Tammy kit with the 10-24 and the 28-75.
12-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My story again: A year ago, I could choose between any of the UWAs: new SIgma 8-16, new or old Sigma 10-20, Tamron 10-24, DA12-24. The Pentax and new Sigmas prices would have been painful but bearable. The old Sigma was not much costlier than the rebated Tamron.

What did I choose to supplement the great DA10-17, the lens that drove me to Pentax? The Tamron. Why? 1) Focal range (see below). 2) Cost -- US$375 shipped. 3) Warranty. 4) Sigma's difficult QC problems. Sigma owners love their UWAs -- once they get good copies. I've read of too many users returning 2-3-4 copies before being satisfied. The Tamron return rate seems to be lower.

So I bought the Tamron and I'm quite happy. The optics are good; AF is fast; it meters well on my K20D. And the focal range is excellent, from WIDE! (for tight spaces) to just-wide (for 'scapes). It is almost always in my kit. It has largely supplanted my Zenitar 16/2.8 unless I know I need the Zen's extra speed. One could put together a good two-Tammy kit with the 10-24 and the 28-75.
I'm using the 10-24 and the 28-105 as my two-Tammy kit right now for the K-x. Very nice range and not too heavy (the 28-105 is 306g).
12-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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Bought it!

I picked up the 10-24 at Adorama this morning. Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

First test shots look passable but I need to get used to the ultrawide end. 10mm catches a huge area so there are more opportunities for blown highlights and lost shadows. I will practice spot metering and +-EV before reviewing the lens.
12-28-2011, 01:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I picked up the 10-24 at Adorama this morning. Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

First test shots look passable but I need to get used to the ultrawide end. 10mm catches a huge area so there are more opportunities for blown highlights and lost shadows. I will practice spot metering and +-EV before reviewing the lens.
You've pinned down the main problem with super-wides: they are perhaps the most difficult of lenses to learn how to use well. They really aren't for just "getting it all in", but scream out to be close to the subject. Perspective exaggeration is one of their greatest characteristics. Very small changes in camera position can make for big changes in the "look" of the shot etc. Also, pay particular attention to the edges of your frame. It is very common for them to be empty and uninteresting. Not to criticize, but look at Tom's images above and notice how empty the edges are. That is what you should try and avoid. Takes a lot of work to overcome that tendency.
I have had a Tamron 10-24 for a while and find it a great addition to my kit. I like it's length, weight and short zoom movement. I find myself leaving my DA16-45 at home and bringing my wonderful vintage FA 20-35. Those two cover everything wider than "normal". I don't miss the 35-45 range.
12-28-2011, 02:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
I don't miss the 35-45 range.
And if you ever do, an F35-70 will assuage your lonliness.
12-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I picked up the 10-24 at Adorama this morning. Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

First test shots look passable but I need to get used to the ultrawide end. 10mm catches a huge area so there are more opportunities for blown highlights and lost shadows. I will practice spot metering and +-EV before reviewing the lens.
Definitely right, there is a learning curve with this lens, but a lot of positive opportunities too!

QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
You've pinned down the main problem with super-wides: they are perhaps the most difficult of lenses to learn how to use well. They really aren't for just "getting it all in", but scream out to be close to the subject. Perspective exaggeration is one of their greatest characteristics. Very small changes in camera position can make for big changes in the "look" of the shot etc. Also, pay particular attention to the edges of your frame. It is very common for them to be empty and uninteresting. Not to criticize, but look at Tom's images above and notice how empty the edges are. That is what you should try and avoid. Takes a lot of work to overcome that tendency.
Very good comments and I've still got a lot to learn as evidenced above. The main thing I wanted to show was the distortion. But you can see on the last pic how all of that gray sky helped blow the shot out.
12-28-2011, 06:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote

So I bought the Tamron and I'm quite happy. The optics are good; AF is fast; it meters well on my K20D. And the focal range is excellent, from WIDE! (for tight spaces) to just-wide (for 'scapes). It is almost always in my kit. It has largely supplanted my Zenitar 16/2.8 unless I know I need the Zen's extra speed. One could put together a good two-Tammy kit with the 10-24 and the 28-75.
One thing I've had a little trouble with is focusing from 10-13mm on my K20D. It doesn't like to focus unless it is focusing close, manually or AF. Any clue as to why?
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